Innovation is the true engine of growth, and only people can innovate. So to be successful, you need the best and the brightest on your payroll—not on that of your competitor’s.
In general, people want to work for companies with which they share the same values, beliefs and worldview. Your branding is one of the ways you communicate this to your different audiences, and it will play a role in your ability to attract high performers to your open positions.
Learning about your audience
For your branding efforts to work, they need to be highly-targeted, at least in the beginning when you’re trying to recruit loyal followers. Later on, you might start to try and cast a wider net, but no matter what you’ll always be going after at least one specific group.
This is important because to be successful as a company, you must think of your candidate pool as another audience. Job seekers are essentially customers, but this time you’re selling open positions instead of products.
The best person for the job doesn’t have to be a customer—but if this is the case, you want it to be because you just hadn’t reached them yet, not because there’s a mismatch. Engaged employees who help push company culture forward are going to have at least some brand affinity, so the more successful you are at creating brand awareness and driving brand engagement, the more likely you are to grab the attention of the person who would be the best fit for the positions you’re trying to fill.
Think of your company’s brand as a physical manifestation of your company culture. We talk about brands as a mechanism for humanizing a company, for putting a face on it that people can remember and connect with. And we get these human characteristics from the way the company operates, which is another way of saying its culture.
If we consider the role company culture plays in luring people to one position over another, then it should be clear how important branding really is to recruiting. What’s the first reason that drives anyone to apply for a position at Apple, or Google, or Facebook? It’s likely because they like the products they make, and then what people hear about company culture at these places makes them even more attractive options.
Company branding is your chance to show to people who you are as a company. And when your messages resonate with someone, they are going to hold positive associations with your brand forever, which is something that will help you when that person starts thinking about making a career move.
Along similar lines, consumers are putting an increased value on ethical behavior. It’s no longer good enough to just have a good product and a good business model. To be successful in today’s marketplace, you need to also demonstrate to people that you care. It doesn’t matter so much what you care about, but being able to convey some level of social commitment is going to do wonders to your image as a company.
Again, your brand is how you will communicate this to people. When crafting messages designed to promote your brand, you’re looking for ways to communicate the very essence of what your company is. What is important to you? What do you care about?
If you can succeed in communicating your commitment to one particular value set, you’re going to do better during recruiting. Not only will you get more candidates, but you’ll get more highly-qualified candidates. This is because people are more likely to choose a company they think stands for something over one they feel cares about nothing, even if they themselves aren’t passionate about that particular issue.
Take a holistic approach
While your company brand can have a significant effect on your ability to recruit top talent, this is not your only tool. Work with staffing and recruiting professionals to craft an employer brand, to market your employer experience and to improve your candidate experience so that you can present yourself in the best light to potential talent and succeed in adding them to your team.